Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday v.86

True confession time:  I really, really love knitting sweaters.  And when I'm knitting them I get all sorts of obsess-y and become very knitting monogamous until I'm done with whatever sweater I'm feeling obsess-y about.  And that, my friends, makes for a whole string of really boring WIPW posts that are all about the same thing. 


But not sorry enough to cast on something else to stir up the pot a bit.  So this week, you get Narragansett.  Again.


It's longer now.  I'm just starting the ribbing tonight.  Two or so inches of that and then it's sleeve city, baby.  It's all very exciting, at least for me.

In other news, we're burning up around here.  A wildfire broke out yesterday about 10 miles away in the midst of sustained 50 mph winds with gusts up to 90 mph.  Within a few hours, it was about 5 miles away.  Here's what our sky looked like last night...


It's still burning uncontrolled, but not moving closer so far today.  We've got all the important papers and the sentimental stuff that can't be replaced gathered up and ready to go, just in case.  But we're really, really hoping it doesn't come to that.  I'll let y'all know if things get really squirrelly, but until then, assume we're fine and I'm still sleeve-obsessed.

Now, go visit all the other WIPW entries for lots more yarn and hopefully less peril.  :)

ps.  Also linking to Keep Calm Craft On today since it seems appropriate somehow.  Check them out too, if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday v.85

Happy Spring, everybody!  I'm super duper glad to see it arrive this year, but a little disappointed that we didn't even get one big spring snowstorm.  Love those giant wet flakes that appear only in the spring, and that melt after a day or so.  Ah well, there's always next year.  Now, bring on the flip flops!

Other than the weather, not much has changed around here recently.  I'm still (when I can scrape together a few minutes to knit) working on Narragansett.  It's coming along.  I've finished the waist shaping now, and about to start the cable detail that carries down the front and into the hem.

I should finish up the body this week, and then get started on the sleeves.  With a little luck, it'll be done by Easter and I'll sneak a few times to wear it in before the weather gets too hot.

Boringly enough, that's all I've got to report from these parts today.  I do have some pretty Adventure in the Mountains pics to share, but you'll have to come back this weekend for those.  In the mean time, go check out all of the other WIPW entries springing up today.  There are zillions of them these days, and all of them are pretty awesome.


Friday, March 16, 2012

FO Friday -- Duck and Cover Edition

And finally we reach the end of the post-swap FO Friday pile-up.  It's been so fun to have something to share every Friday, but unless there is some major miracle-knitting on Narragansett in the next few days, our run has come to an end.  At least for a week or two...

For now, let's focus on the socky love.  I finished the Duckie socks on the way to Stitches West, on a plane packed full of knitters.  It was awesome.  I even kitchenered on the plane, and without help from my favorite youtube video on the subject.  Yay, me!  Oh, and voila!

I have to say, I'm loving these socks.  The yarn is probably one of the best skeins I've ever worked with, and I'm feverishly trying to figure out what I can knit with the 80 or so yards I have left.

The pattern was great, too -- super easy to memorize and nothing fancy to worry about.  Also?  Free!  Bonus.  It called for 10 repeats of the pattern before the heel turn, and I added two more for longer socks.  They're still a bit short for my taste, so if I knit these again I'll do 15 repeats on the leg, I think.  Also, if I do these again, I probably won't make a little cable in the sole of the sock on the left next time.  Like so:

Heh.  Apparently, when I picked up that dropped stitch, I put it back in not quite the exact right spot.  Oops.  Ah well, I'd still call them a win. 

And writing about them makes me want to cast on another pair of socks.  Hmmmm.....

Happy weekend, y'all!

ps.  Go visit Fiber Arts Friday, too!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stitches West Giveaway -- Winner! Winner! Winner!

Happy Saturday, y'all!

The deadline for the Madeline Tosh giveaway passed this morning, and we have a winnah!  The trusty random number generator from coughed this up:

Comment #29 was left by the lovely Sarah at On Being A Knitwit!  Yay, Sarah!  As soon as Sarah sends me her contact information, I'll be dropping this in the mail to her:

Big thanks everyone else for stopping by and entering.  I was a little shocked at how many folks dropped their name into the hat for this giveaway -- Way more than in my first and second giveaways combined.  Rest assured, there will be another one at some point this year.  They're too much fun not to do on a regular basis. 

Happy weekend, you guys!

Friday, March 9, 2012

FO Friday -- Epic Cuteness Edition

This FO Friday/Fiber Arts Friday brings us to the last of the super secret swap gifts that were sent off to the UK, presumably by carrier pigeon judging by the amount of time they took to reach their destination...

Anyway, I had been DYING for an excuse to knit one of Ysolda's Mousies for ages.  They're so stinking cute!  And since my swap partner not only shared her household with, but also seemed pretty smitten by an actual house cat, I figured this was my shot.

And so I started knitting heavy fingering weight yarn on size 0 dpns, which instantly seemed like a bad idea.  But the cuteness made me persevere.  And so I did.  This is what popped out:

Squee!  Sue me, I like the bum picture the best.  Since he was intended for a cat, I stuffed him with catnip stashed in nylon, and a bit of toy stuffing, too.  His front side is also cute...

But, I had some major difficulties with the french knots for his eyes.  The first came off instantly looking exactly as pictured in the instructions.  The second did not, and did not, and did not.  So his left eye was a tiny bit wonky.  I loved him anyway.

And it's rumored that the cat was pretty pleased, as well.  So, mission accomplished! 

Oh, and one more thing:  In case you missed it -- Enter a comment on this post (ETA:  That's a link to the contest post -- Just want to make sure folks aren't posting comments on this FO Friday post to be entered -- Sorry for the confusion!!)  to win a skein of Madeline Tosh yarn!  But do it fast, the contest closes at 8 am MST on Saturday (yep, that's tomorrow).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday v.83

Howdy, peeps!  It was springtime in Colorado today, sunshine-y and warm and lovely.  But by the time you read this it will be cold and snowing, as Wednesday's high temperature is supposed to be just less than half of Tuesday's.  Ah well, I guess that's what makes it Spring, right?

Speaking of Spring, I've been trying in vain to get Narragansett moving along fast enough so that I'll actually be able to wear it this year.  So far, it's not looking that good...

I've just finished the raglan increases (this is a top down pattern), and am about to separate for the sleeves.  Maybe another inch or so, I think.  I'm also about 3/4 of the way through the first skein of yarn, so I think we'll be good on that front.

The modified eyelets aren't really that eyelet-y, but I don't think I mind too much.  I do love the cable that runs along the raglan, though.

That's it on the knitting front this week.  Hopefully, things will look much more exciting by next week.  And, I'm tentatively planning on tinking the stupid mittens this week too, and trying once again to get some forward progress rolling.  No promises, though!  There's a new pair of socks calling my name, and the promise of no tinking baggage and new yarn is a pretty powerful draw.  You'll just have to check back next week to see which way things went.

Finally, in case you missed the post on Monday, I'm giving away a skein of Madeline Tosh Merino Light this week, and you have until Saturday morning to enter.  Go check it out!  And then go visit all the other WIPW folks and see what they're up to this week.  Knowing them, it's probably something exciting.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stitches West 2012 -- and a giveaway!

Well, that was fun!  But first, a bit of back story...  About a thousand years ago, when I lived in northern Caifornia, and our company was publishing a knitting book for kids, my friend BB and I learned to knit  by testing instructions for it.  Excited about our new-found hobby, we went to a knitting show that had rolled into town called Stitches West.  Talk about sensory overload!  I remember looking around with my mouth hanging open and whispering to BB, "What's she doing???" She was knitting a sock.  On dpns.  Ha!  We walked around for a bit, bought a bit of stuff that I never used and left. 

Flash forward 10 or so years and we're both pretty obsessed knitters, only now she lives in New Hampshire, and I live in Colorado, and we both knit a whole lotta socks.  Since Stitches fell on my birthday this year, I suggested we meet out there, see all our old friends and do Stitches v.2.  Remarkably, she agreed! 

So last weekend, we met out on the coast and got to see all our old coworkers, and eat our way across the bay area.  It was bliss.  On Thursday night, we headed for the Market Preview, where folks who're signed up for at least one class get exclusive admission to the market vendors before the doors are opened to the public.  We were not alone (but we are in this pic, see if you can spot my red Angostura!)

4:45 pm Market Preview Time
(photo from the Stitches West Flickr set)

While we were there, we stopped by the Cascade Yarns booth, and since we were both wearing sweaters knit with Cascade, they took our picture and it popped up on their Facebook page today.  Too funny!

 We did some serious damage at all the zillions of vendors, and still made it out in time for a late dinner.  The market preview by itself is worth the price of a class, IMHO.  It was so nice to shop without having to fight big crowds! 

On Friday morning, we showed up bright and early for a class taught by Cookie A, which was also pretty awesome.  We learned all about reading cable charts intuitively, without having to consult the symbol key all the tine.  It was very cool, and Cookie was a fabulous teacher. 

A little more shopping after class, then we spent the rest of the weekend catching up with old friends and squishing our new yarn.  It was, all in all, a fabulous vacation.

Wanna see what I got?  I hope so, because you're gonna have to wade through all of it to get to the giveaway at the end of the post!

First up was 5 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the blue graphite colorway.  It's such a pretty dark blue gray, a bit more navy than in this picture.

I found this at the Carolina Homespun booth, where they went waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of their way for me and then gave me a screaming deal on all of it. 

And other than that, the yarn shopping was pretty much all Madtosh all the time for me.  Since I'm pretty much a cheapskate when I buy yarn, and since it was my birthday, I gave myself an unlimited yarn budget for the weekend.  Throwing caution to the wind resulted in this:

It's Tosh Vintage in Mica, which I bought to knit Skelf

And also this: 

Tosh sock in Calligraphy.  I bought a skein of this stuff at Loopy Ewe last month, and then decided I really needed enough to make an Austin Hoodie out of it.  That, my friends is a LOT of teensy stitches in a sweater, but I think it will be worth it.

Finally, I got another screaming deal:

2 skeins of Mini Mochi in colorway #307.  Catchy name, no?  Anyway, I love the first Mini Mochi socks I knit, so I decided another pair would be a good idea, especially for half price.

I had to break up all that yarn buying with some books, just for the sake of variety, and so came home with these:

We were even able to get our books signed by Alana Dakos, who was incredibly nice.  I'm dying to knit at least 3 of these sweaters, and all of the patterns are pretty awesome.

And this, because we all know about how much I <3 Ysolda...

I even got an awesome knitting-y birthday present while I was out there.  BB made me the prettiest project bag...

It's even lined!

That's all I bought for me this trip (not too bad since I wasn't on a budget!), but I had to buy a skein for you guys to share a little of the Stitches love!  Here it is:

That's right, more Madeline Tosh.  This is Tosh Merino Light, a fingering weight, in the Dahlia colorway, and here's what you have to do to make it yours:  Leave a comment on this post before 8 am MST on Saturday, March 10.  Easy peasy.  I'll ship it anywhere you are if you're the winner. 

Okay, one more thing:  When I got home, I got to open my birthday present from Mr. Right.  A new camera!  Which takes pretty pictures, including some of the birthday cake he baked me all by himself:

And a gratuitous shot of last night's epic sunset.  Pretty spectacular birthday, all in all!

Friday, March 2, 2012

FO Friday -- Scrub a Dub Edition

Wow, it's been aaaaaaages since I got to take part in an FO Friday!  And now that Tink is opening all of her swap gifts, I have a little bit of a back up of FOs to Friday about.  Which is pretty awesome if you ask me.

This week...  Wash cloths!  One of the gifts I stuck in the box was spa-related:  a bar of pomegranate scented soap from a local soap maker (soapsmith?), and 2 knitted wash cloths.  I've had my eye on the Summer in Asheville pattern for ages, so I decided to dive in with a skein of Knit Picks Dishie in the pomegranate (total coincidence, honest) colorway.  I didn't look at the pattern much before diving in, becaue hey... it's a wash cloth.  Right?  Yeah, not so much.

It's also a 2-sided lace pattern which required a lot more concentration than I bargained for.  So we had a few false starts.  But in the end, we had a pretty, purple-y (much more wine-colored than this washed out picture) wash cloth, so yay.

Next up was Exfoliate!  A Dalek wash cloth, for all those Dr. Who fans out there.  I'd seen somewhere a reference Tink made to Dr. Who, so I figured it was a good bet.  Also, it looked easy.  Once again... not so much.  The pattern was easy enough, but all those stupid bobbles were enough to make my head spin.  Turns out they're not so fun to knit.  Who knew?

All in all, though, it turned out pretty well.  This one's also in Dishie, this time in the Flamingo colorway.  Just as an aside about the yarn... Awesome.  I'm not a fan of knitting with cotton, but this stuff is amazing.  It's really soft, the colors are great, and the price is comparable to the stuff you'd find at a big box craft store.  I'm glad I like it so much, because I accidentally ordered 5 skeins when I bought it.  Oops.

Pretty though, no?  I'm planning on knitting a small army of dish cloths for us, since the green Snoopy cloth sees tons of use in the kitchen. I'm sure I'll get right on that any minute now.  No, really.

In other news, and in case you missed it on Wednesday, there will be a Stitches West recap up at some point this weekend, complete with a few bad photos, a review of the epic pile-o-purchases (I had FUN!), and a giveaway of a skein of Madeline Tosh that I picked out just for you guys.  Because I love you.  So come back and enter, okay?   For now, go check out all the other FO fabulousness happening at Tami's blog today (ETA: and Fiber Arts Friday, too!).  There's tons of it!